This paper presents the development of a numerical model for a thermoelectric generator integrated with a novel microcombustor to predict the thermoelectric performance of the system. The novelty of the work lies in the development of a numerical model to predict and analyze the system’s thermal characteristics and thermoelectric performance with numerical simulations. The system consists of a microscale combustor and two Bi2Te3 thermoelectric modules mounted on the combustor. The combustor has backward facing steps and a recirculating cup to enhance its flame stability and thermal characteristics over other combustors. Following the thermal analysis of the microcombustor, the model for predicting the power output from the thermoelectric modules is validated and then integrated by using separate sub-routine. A maximum open-circuit voltage of 8 V was reported for the integrated system. For a load resistance of 2.8 Ω, a power output of 5.6 W was obtained at a conversion efficiency of 6.8%. It can be concluded that the successful integration of a thermoelectric model into CFD software will provide great impetus to future studies on thermoelectric generators, while the optimized combustor, with a volume comparable to that of a dry cell, can serve as a viable replacement for electrochemical batteries.
K. Hiranandani, Aravind, B., Dr. Ratna Kishore V., and Kumar, S., “Development of a numerical model for performance prediction of an integrated microcombustor-thermoelectric power generator”, Energy, vol. 192, p. 116624, 2020.